The Very Rev. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM

Vocations “come and follow me”

Right Reverend Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM

Right Reverend Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM
Custos of the Holy Land (05.05.2004 - 20.05.2016)
From the Franciscan Province of Christ the King, Bologna

He made his solemn entry in Saint Saviour on 2 June 2004
in the Holy Sepulchre on 3 June 2004
in Bethlehem on 4 June 2004
in Nazareth on 9 June 2004.

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa was nominated as Custos of the Holy Land for the first time in May 2004, for a period of six years.
In May 2010 he was reconfirmed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, for another mandate of three years, and in June 2013 for a further mandate of three years.

Personal data of Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa was born at Cologno al Serio (Bergamo) on 21 April 1965, son of Pietro and Maria Maddalena Tadini.

He attended Secondary School at the Minor Seminary "Le Grazie" of Rimini and obtained his diploma in classical studies at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Ferrara (June 1984).

He received the Franciscan religious habit on 5 September 1984 in Ferrara (Santo Spirito) and spent the year of novitiate at the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna (Arezzo -Italy).

He made his Temporary Profession in La Verna, on 7 September 1985.

He made his Solemn Profession on 10 October 1989 in the Church of St. Anthony in Bologna.

On 15 September 1990 he was ordained priest in the cathedral church of Bologna, with the imposition of hands of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

After spending a period in Rome, he was transferred to the Holy Land, in Jerusalem, in October 1990.

From 2 July 1999 he formally entered in service to the Custody of the Holy Land.

After his philosophical-theological studies, he obtained:

A Licenciate Degree in Biblical Theology at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

Offices of responsibility:

In 1995 he was responsible for the publication of the Roman Missal in Hebrew, and translated various liturgical texts in Hebrew for the Catholic Communities in Israel.

He lectured Hebrew at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.

He covered the role of Vicar General of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for the pastoral care of Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.

Since 2008 he is a Consultor in the Commission for relations with Judaism of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians.

Fr. Pizzaballa speaks Italian, Modern Hebrew and English.


  • "La presenza francescana in Terra Santa". Franciscan Printing Press, 2005, ISBN 978-88-6-24000-91
  • "Terra Santa", interview with Giorgio Acquaviva, Editrice La Scuola, Brescia, 2008, ISBN 978-88-35023-142
  • "Le comunità cristiane in Medio Oriente oggi. Dialogo fra le giovani generazioni come unica possibile futura via di distensione", Pierbattista Pizzaballa-Euntes Docete-LXIV-3-201, Editrice Urbaniana University Press 978-88-401-4041-4
  • "Il Custode di Terra Santa - un colloquio con padre Pierbattista Pizzaballa", Piergiorgio Pescali, ADDEditore, Torino, 2014, ISBN 978-88-67830756
  • "Il potere del cuore. Il Medio Oriente nel racconto del Custode di Terra Santa", Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Edizioni Terra Santa, Milano, Year of Publication 2016 ISBN 978-88-6240-379-5

Honorific decorations:

Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
21 February 2013

Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana).
12 January 2007

Grand Official of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana).
25 May 2015

Grand Commander of the Orthodox Order of Cross-Bearers of the Holy Sepulchre
30 May 2016

After his mandate

On 24 June 2016 the Holy Father Pope Francis nominated him Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, “sede vacante", and elevated him to the dignity of Archbishop, assigning to him the Titular See of Verbe.

He was consecrated Bishop by His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, His Beatitude Msgr. Fouad Twal and His Excellency Msgr. Francesco Beschi, in the Cathedral of St. Alessandro in Bergamo - Italy, on 10 September 2016.


Events calendar


Vigil of Christmas. Bethlehem: 13.30 Entrance of the Archbishop & I Vespers - 16.00 Procession - 23.30 Office & 00.00 Mass - 1.45 Procession to the Grotto


Nativity of the Lord. Bethlehem (St. Catherine): 10.00 Mass Shepherds' Field (Greek & Catholic): 14.00 Pilgrimage


Feast St. Stephen, Protomartyr. St. Stephen: 16.00 Pilgrimage


Feast of the Holy Innocents. Bethlehem:10.00 Mass - 14.00 II Vespers (Vicar CTS)


Octave of Christmas. Beit Sahour: Holy Angels ad pastores

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